Date: November 18, 2014 at 2:44:00 PM EST
Subject: Important Announcement from CB School District
November 18, 2014
Dear Central Bucks School Community,
A few weeks ago I informed our school community of the cancellation of the Central Bucks High School West football season and the suspension of the coaching staff. These steps were taken in large part due to hazing/initiation activities by a majority of the Junior Varsity and Varsity football players in the West locker room during a Central Bucks West Football Parent Club picnic on August 16, 2014.
We have concluded our internal investigation that began on October 15, 2014. Almost all members of the Junior Varsity and Varsity team were interviewed; many more than once, and eleven of our Central Bucks West football assistant coaches were interviewed as well. I met with Head Coach, Brian Hensel, four times throughout this investigation. The interviews and meetings confirmed the seriousness of the hazing that took place on August 16, 2014 and confirmed a lack of guidance and adequate supervision of the team over the course of the whole season by the Central Bucks West football coaches. These concerns existed well before the August picnic.
Mr. Jason Bucher, Principal, and Mr. Sean Kelly, Athletic Director met with Mr. Hensel in early January, late April, and early August to discuss concerns from the 2013 season and set expectations going forward. Those concerns included supervision of athletes, team-building activities, including the practice of haircuts for rookies, and the requirement for all coaches to sign the Coaches Code of Conduct. That Code is required of all coaches at Central Bucks High School West and only the football coaches have refused to sign it.
This repeated refusal to sign the Coaches Code of Conduct reflected their unwillingness to follow feedback and direction from the Central Bucks High School West administration. In fact, after October 15, while the investigation into the hazing events was in progress, the lack of coach supervision continued and contributed to an altercation between two players in an away locker room after a game that took place during this investigative period.
As a result of all the facts learned during the investigation, prior to and following the suspensions, it has been decided that Brian Hensel will no longer coach the Central Bucks High School West football team. The suspension of the assistant coaches has been lifted. Their future involvement with the football program will be determined after the selection of the new head coach. That hiring process will begin immediately.
There will be no further disciplinary actions for the Central Bucks West football players. I sincerely hope that this situation has served as a learning experience for them and this community. The school administrators will meet with the football players tomorrow to review the plan for moving forward with the program and answer any questions they may have.
The Central Bucks School District has notified the Bucks County District Attorney and the Central Bucks Regional Police Department that our investigation has concluded and that no additional information regarding inappropriate student behavior on August 16 has been learned since our initial communication.
I assembled a team of secondary administrators and athletic directors on Friday, November 7, 2014. This team will review policies, practices, training, and procedures currently in place as they relate to student-athletes, coaches, trainers, athletic directors, administrators, and parents. We will research current best practices, seek input from expert resources, and make recommendations for change where needed. We will work to ensure that everyone understands what is expected and required to be a successful player, coach, team, and parent organization in the Central Bucks School District.
This has been a challenging and painful few weeks for all of us connected to Central Bucks High School West and for the school district community as a whole. I can assure you that every step taken throughout this process has been taken to ensure the safety, welfare, and dignity of every student in our schools. Our efforts now turn to reviewing all applicable policies and practices related to extra-curricular activities in all of our schools and to rebuilding the Central Bucks West Football Program.
David Weitzel, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools